The number of calories in vegetable lo mein can vary greatly depending on the ingredients and preparation methods used. On average, a serving of vegetable lo mein contains around 300-500 calories.
Calories in Lo Mein Noodles
Lo mein noodles are made from wheat flour and eggs. A 2 oz (56g) serving of cooked lo mein noodles contains around 200 calories. The exact calorie count can vary between brands.
Lo Mein Noodle Nutrition Facts
Here are the nutrition facts for a typical 2 oz serving of lo mein noodles:
As you can see, lo mein noodles are high in carbohydrates, providing 38g per 2 oz serving. They contain 7g of protein and almost no fat.
Calories in Vegetable Lo Mein Ingredients
In addition to the noodles, vegetable lo mein contains a variety of vegetables and sometimes tofu or other protein foods. Here are some common ingredients and their calorie contents:
– 1 cup raw broccoli: 31 calories
– 1 cup cooked broccoli: 55 calories
– 1 cup raw carrots: 52 calories
– 1 cup cooked carrots: 83 calories
– 1 cup raw cabbage: 22 calories
– 1 cup cooked cabbage: 44 calories
– 1 cup snow peas: 41 calories
– 1 cup raw mushrooms: 21 calories
– 1 cup cooked mushrooms: 59 calories
– 1 cup bean sprouts: 23 calories
– 1 cup baby corn: 46 calories
– 1/2 cup firm tofu: 94 calories
– 1 cup raw onions: 64 calories
– 1 cup cooked onions: 159 calories
The total calories contributed from the vegetables depends on the amounts used in the dish. In general, 1-2 cups of mixed raw vegetables will provide 50-100 calories. When cooked, the veggie calories are a bit higher due to water loss.
Calories in Lo Mein Sauce
Lo mein sauce is typically made from soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings. Here are the calories for 3 tablespoons of a typical lo mein sauce:
As you can see, sesame oil is very high in calories, providing 120 calories per tablespoon. Soy sauce and oyster sauce also contribute a fair amount of calories. In total, a typical 3 tablespoon lo mein sauce provides about 200 calories.
Putting it All Together
Based on the calorie counts above, here are some estimates for the total calories in a serving of vegetable lo mein:
– Lo mein noodles (4 oz cooked): 400 calories
– Mixed vegetables (2 cups cooked): 100 calories
– Lo mein sauce (3 tablespoons): 200 calories
– Total: 700 calories
This provides a high calorie estimate for a generous 8 oz serving.
If using less noodles and sauce, the calorie count would be lower:
– Lo mein noodles (2 oz cooked): 200 calories
– Mixed vegetables (1 cup cooked): 50 calories
– Lo mein sauce (2 tablespoons): 130 calories
– Total: 380 calories
This provides an estimate for a smaller 5-6 oz serving.
The vegetables and protein additions also impact the totals:
– With 1/2 cup tofu: add 50 calories
– With onions or baby corn: add 50-100 calories
So a reasonable estimate for a typical plate of vegetable lo mein is:
This range allows for differences in serving sizes and ingredients. A generous plate with extra noodles, sauce, protein and veggies would fall at the higher end around 500 calories. A lighter plate would be closer to 300 calories.
In summary, the calories in vegetable lo mein comes from:
– Lo mein noodles: 200-400 calories per serving
– Vegetables: 50-100 calories
– Sauces: Around 200 calories for 2-3 tablespoons
– Added protein foods like tofu: 50-100 calories
Despite being considered a lighter dish, lo mein can contain a fair amount of calories thanks to high calorie ingredients like noodles, oil, and sauce. Selecting lean proteins and loading up on low calorie vegetables will help lower the calorie count. Portion sizes also make a big difference in the total calories.
How to Reduce Calories in Vegetable Lo Mein
Here are some tips for reducing the calories in a serving of vegetable lo mein:
– Use spiralized veggies instead of noodles to slash the carbs and calories. Zucchini noodles are a popular option.
– Load up on low calorie vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, bean sprouts, and carrots. Go easy on higher calorie veggies like corn and onions.
– Go light on the lo mein sauce as it can be high in oil and sodium. Get flavor from low calorie options like vinegar, ginger, garlic and chili flakes instead.
– Choose lean proteins like chicken breast, shrimp or extra firm tofu instead of fatty meats.
– Request that the dish is prepared with minimal oil or get it on the side and use a small amount.
– Opt for brown rice noodles over refined wheat noodles if possible. Brown rice noodles are higher in nutrients and fiber.
– Reduce portion sizes of noodles and sauce and fill up on veggies instead.
– Avoid deep fried additions like fried wontons or egg rolls and ask for steamed dumplings instead.
With some modifications, lo mein can be a fresh, filling and lower calorie option. Focus on loading your plate with vegetables, reducing portions of noodles and heavy sauces, and choosing lean proteins to keep the calorie count in check.
Healthy Vegetable Lo Mein Recipe
Here is a recipe for a healthier, lower calorie version of vegetable lo mein:
– 3 cups spiralized zucchini noodles
– 1 cup shredded cabbage
– 1 cup broccoli florets
– 1 cup sliced bell peppers
– 1 cup snap peas
– 1 cup bean sprouts
– 1 cup shredded carrots
– 1 cup sliced mushrooms
– 1⁄2 cup diced onion
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tablespoon grated ginger
– 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
– 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
– 1 teaspoon sesame oil
– 1⁄4 cup vegetable broth
– Optional protein: sautéed shrimp, chicken or extra firm tofu
1. Prepare zucchini noodles using a spiralizer. Set aside.
2. In a skillet or wok, stir fry onions for 1-2 minutes over medium-high heat.
3. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds.
4. Add broccoli and bell peppers. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add mushrooms, cabbage, snap peas, bean sprouts and carrots. Continue stir frying for 3-4 minutes.
6. Add zucchini noodles and gently toss for 2 minutes until noodles are heated through but still slightly crisp.
7. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce or tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil and vegetable broth.
8. Pour sauce over veggie mixture and toss to coat evenly.
9. Remove from heat and divide into bowls. Top with shrimp, chicken or tofu if desired.
This veggie packed version provides maximum nutrition for minimal calories. Each serving (without protein) contains around 300 calories depending on vegetable amounts. Load your bowl up with steamed veggies and spiralized zucchini instead of oily noodles and sauce for a lighter, healthier lo mein.
Low Calorie Lo Mein Tips
Here are some additional tips for making lo mein lower in calories:
– Replace half the noodles with riced cauliflower. This cuts the carbs while still providing texture.
– Use buckwheat or soba noodles instead of refined wheat noodles. They are lower on the glycemic index.
-Swap oyster sauce for low sodium tamari or soy sauce to reduce sodium.
– Use chicken or vegetable broth instead of oil for sautéeing.
– Add more veggies like sliced water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and bok choy.
– Garnish with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, green onions or chili flakes for extra flavor.
– Squeeze fresh lime juice over the lo mein right before eating. The acid brightens up the flavors.
– Use crushed red pepper flakes instead of oil to add kick.
With some substitutions and veggie focused additions, lo mein can be a slimmed down yet still delicious meal. Experiment to find a combination you love with fewer calories.
Here are answers to some common questions about the calories in vegetable lo mein:
Is lo mein healthier than fried rice?
In general, lo mein is considered healthier than fried rice. Since lo mein noodles are boiled instead of stir-fried, they typically contain less oil. Lo mein also includes a variety of fresh vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and beans sprouts that add nutrients. However, lo mein can still be high in calories if large amounts of oil and salt-heavy sauces are used. For a healthier meal, load up on veggies and limit oil and heavy sauces.
Is vegetable lo mein low carb?
Traditional lo mein made with wheat noodles is not low carb. A 2 oz serving of lo mein noodles contains about 38g of carbohydrates. However, vegetable lo mein can be made lower carb by replacing all or part of the noodles with spiralized vegetables like zucchini or riced cauliflower which contain fewer digestible carbs. The total carbs will also depend on the vegetable additions and sauce.
Is it better to get lo mein with rice or noodles?
If you are looking to lower the calories and carbohydrates in lo mein, zucchini or other veggie noodles are the best choice. Rice would be the next best option, providing about 100 fewer calories per serving compared to wheat noodles. Brown rice would also give you more fiber and nutrients than white rice. In terms of taste though, wheat noodles provide the classic lo mein texture many people prefer.
Is vegetable lo mein healthy?
Vegetable lo mein made with lots of veggies and easy on the oil and sodium-heavy sauces can be a relatively healthy meal. But traditional vegetable lo mein may still derive plenty of calories from starchy noodles, oil, and sodium-rich sauces like oyster sauce. To make lo mein truly healthy, load up on nutrient-dense vegetables, use veggie noodles, choose lean proteins like shrimp or tofu, and limit added oils and heavy sauces.
The Bottom Line
Vegetable lo mein can range from 300-500 calories per serving depending on the specific ingredients used and portion sizes. To make lo mein lower in calories, fill your bowl with low calorie vegetables, use veggie noodles instead of wheat noodles, go easy on oil and heavy sauces, and emphasize lean proteins like shrimp or tofu. With some modifications, vegetable lo mein can be a nutritious and lower calorie option. Just keep portions of noodles and sauce in check and load your plate with fresh vegetables.